Yesterday I received a Facebook message from my daughter stating “my phone has died.” This morning she called to share the story of trying to replace her phone. Between contracts, pricey new phones and a general lack of customer service in the walk-in mall store, she was totally frustrated. After the unsuccessful store visit, she went online and “chatted” with a customer service person who acknowledged that the situation must be very frustrating. Thank you for that! A telephone call to a second store supplied her with some useable information and a suggestion on what to do to temporarily correct the situation – aha!! customer service. So this morning she set out to try (after calling me) to “get a phone.”

My phone would ring again with a request to find an address and my daughter would comment “what did we do before smart phones?” I commented “we planned where we were going and looked at real maps.” I have been thinking about what we did before smart phones or even cell phones and I came up with the following:

1. We called someone’s home, spoke with whoever answered the phone, waited for them to get to the phone and either spoke to the intended person or left a message. Growing up I had to answer the phone “Clark’s residence. Ann speaking. Who is this, please?”

2. We formulated a plan – meet here at such and such time.

3. Checked the newspaper for movie schedules.

4. We wrote down addresses and directions on pieces of paper or the back of an envelope after we found a pencil or pen.

5. We made reservations for dinner.

6. We fretted about why the person was late to said appointment.

7. We had a paper map in the car and probably “mad money” in our pockets.

Anyway that is what I remember and to be honest I still look at a map (Google maps) ahead of time, and write down addresses on paper or print the email with the address. I keep a paper calendar as well as my iPhone calendar. I try to back everything up on my computer. And just in case the power goes out or my phone dies, I have my daughters’ and sister’s phone number written on a piece of paper. I can tell you my best friend’s parent’s telephone number that I have probably known for 40 years because I had to dial it. However, I don’t know my own daughters’ and sister’s without looking because most times I press a button. 🙂